How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Shellman Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Shellman GA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Shellman GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Shellman GA dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Shellman GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Shellman GA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Shellman GA employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Shellman GA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Shellman GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Shellman GA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Shellman GA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Shellman GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Shellman GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Shellman GA?
Shellman is a city in Randolph County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,166 at the 2000 census. Buildings in the commercial center have been designated as an historic district and listed in 1985 on the National Register of Historic Places.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,166 people, 407 households, and 297 families residing in the city. The population density was 369.8 people per square mile (142.9/km²). There were 465 housing units at an average density of 147.5 per square mile (57.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 30.53% White, 68.87% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.17% Pacific Islander, and 0.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.
There were 407 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 27.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city, the population was spread out with 32.5% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.5 males.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near Shellman GA
Picking the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Shellman GA.
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